„Do you consider, my dear maggotty sir [cosy-name for his friend], what a deal of work history pictures require to what little dirty subjects of coal horses and jackasses and such figures as I fill up with; no, you don't consider anything about that part of the story... But to be serious (as I know you love to be), do you really think that a regular composition in the Landskip [landscape] way should ever be filled with History, or any figures but such as fill a place (I won't say stop a gap) or create a little business for the eye to be drawn from the trees in order to return to them with more glee.“

—  Thomas Gainsborough, Quote from Gainsborough's letter to his friend William Jackson of Exeter, from Bath 23 Aug. 1767; as cited in Thomas Gainsborough, by William T, Whitley https://ia800204.us.archive.org/6/items/thomasgainsborou00whitrich/thomasgainsborou00whitrich.pdf; New York, Charles Scribner's Sons – London, Smith, Elder & Co, Sept. 1915, p. 379 (Appendix A - Letter I)

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